Are there any foods that should be off-limits when backpacking because they have a negative impact on performance or well-being? I am thinking that candy-bars and very greasy foods might be candidates?
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It depends on the kind of hike. But some of my 50 cents:
Some of my favorite food is: - Warm food: complete meals (well minimal complete) in a metal case ... to be used on a mini cooker without the necessity of other tools (except a fork to eat) - Biscuits which are concentrated, with cheese or ham (latter only in case of not hot weather/short hikes) - In case of a short hike, I take an apple/banana (banana also good for short energy)
I try to avoid the following:
The key thing is that being in the backcountry shouldn't really change how you think about eating. You cook food like you make at home. Don't expect that if you aren't a good cook at home you'll suddenly be a master backcountry chef. So, practice good cooking at home.
My bible on cooking and eating outside is the NOLS Backcountry Cookery Book. Just buy it. But the key ideas are: